Today is Tuesday, August 31st, the 243rd day of 2021. There are still 122 days in the year.
Today’s highlight in history:
August 31, 1980, Poland’s labor movement Solidarno was born with an agreement signed in Gdansk that ended a 17-day-old strike.
On this date:
In 1886, an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.3 devastated Charleston, South Carolina, killing at least 60 people, according to the US Geological Survey.
1939, the first edition of Marvel Comics to feature the Human Torch, was published by Timely Publications in New York.
1972, at the Summer Olympics in Munich, the American swimmer Mark Spitz won his fourth and fifth gold medals in the 100-meter butterfly and 800-meter freestyle relay; The Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut won gold medals in floor exercise and on the balance beam.
1986, 82 people were killed when an Aeromexico jetliner and a small private plane collided over Cerritos, California. The Soviet passenger ship Admiral Nakhimov collided with a merchant ship in the Black Sea, which sank both; Up to 448 people were reported to have died.
1992, White separatist Randy Weaver surrendered to Naples, Idaho authorities, ending an eleven-day federal siege that killed Weaver’s wife, son, and an Assistant Marshal. (Weaver was acquitted of murder and all other charges related to the confrontation; he was convicted of failing to come to trial on firearms and sentenced to 18 months in prison, but was credited with 14 months that he had already served.)
1994, the Irish Republican Army declared a truce. Russia officially ended its military presence in the former GDR and the Baltic States after half a century.
In 1996, three adults and four children drowned when their vehicle rolled into John D. Long Lake in Union, South Carolina; they had gone to see a memorial to the sons of Susan Smith who drowned the two boys in October 1994.
In 1997Prince Charles brought Princess Diana home for the last time and escorted the body of his ex-wife to a UK that was shocked, saddened and angry about her death in a traffic accident in Paris.
In the year 2005New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin reported “significant numbers of bodies in the water” after Hurricane Katrina; Nagin ordered practically all police to stop search and rescue and instead stop increasingly hostile thieves.
In 2010, President Barack Obama ended the US combat mission in Iraq, declared no victory after seven years of bloodshed and told those divided about the war in his country and around the world: “It is time to turn the page.”
2018, Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul,” was buried after an eight-hour funeral in a Detroit church that included Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Smokey Robinson.
2019, a gunman carried out a rampage that stretched ten miles between the Texan communities of Midland and Odessa, killing seven people before police killed the gunman outside an Odessa movie theater.
Ten years ago: The Wartime Contracting Commission released a report stating that the US has lost billions of dollars to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan and would repeat it in future wars without much government change, such as government contracts awarded and administered for combat support and reconstruction projects.
Five years ago: On Mexican soil, for the first time as the Republican presidential candidate, a firm but measured Donald Trump defended the United States’ right to build a massive border wall along its southern flank and sat a press conference with the Mexican during a joint session on the centerpiece of his immigration plan President Enrique Pena Nieto. The first commercial flight between the United States and Cuba in more than half a century, a JetBlue Airbus A320, landed in downtown Santa Clara and resumed regular air traffic that was interrupted at the height of the Cold War. The Brazilian Senate has decided to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. (Rousseff has been accused of violating tax laws in her administration of the federal budget.)
A year ago: At a rally in Pittsburgh, Democrat Joe Biden strongly condemned violent protesters and called for prosecution; he accused President Donald Trump of causing the divisions that sparked the violence. Trump reiterated that he blamed radical troublemakers whom he believed Biden agitated and supported. The US Open, the first Grand Slam tennis event in almost six months, started in New York without fans because of the pandemic. John Thompson’s family announced that the former Georgetown University basketball coach had died at the age of 78; he was the first black coach to lead a team to the men’s NCAA championship. Police in Rwanda announced the arrest of Paul Rusesabagina on terrorism charges, who was portrayed in the film Hotel Rwanda as the hero who saved the lives of more than 1,200 people from the country’s 1994 genocide. The Federal Aviation Administration said it had given Amazon permission to deliver packages using drones; Amazon said it was still testing and flying the drones.
Today’s birthdays: Musician Jerry Allison (Buddy Holly and the Crickets) is 82. Actor Jack Thompson is 81. Violinist Itzhak Perlman and singer Van Morrison are 76. Musician Rudolf Schenker (The Scorpions) is 73. Actors Richard Gere and Stephen Henderson are 72. Olympic Gold medal athlete Edwin Moses is 66 years old. Singer Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze) and musician Gina Schock (The Go-Go’s) are 64 years old. Singer Tony DeFranco (The DeFranco Family) is 62 years old. Musician Larry Waddell (Mint) is 58 years old. Actor Jaime P. Gomez is 56. Musician Jeff Russo (Tonic) is 52. Singer and composer Deborah Gibson and actor Zack Ward are 51. Golfer Padraig Harrington is 50. Actor Chris Tucker is 49 Actress Sara Ramirez is 46. Singer Tamara (Trina & Tamara) is 44.